The constant battle that I see couples come up against is the ‘pressure’ to conform to what a wedding day ‘should be’.
The dress, suits, rings, cars, ceremony, bridal party, head table, seated reception, speeches, favours, DJ/band, cake…. the list goes on.
But guess what? You don’t have to do that if you don’t want to (awesome right?) And once you get your head around that, then the options are endless. Who says that you need to have a fancy white dress and a sit-down meal?
Think about what you really want & need, and if it doesn’t fit into the 'want or need' category then think about why you feel you have to have it? Is it just cos ‘that’s what you do at a wedding’? Don’t want the cake, the 3-course meal or speeches? … that’s ok, scrap them! Your day is not going to be any less special because of it, and you will save a bit of coin in the process.
I did a wedding last year and was witness to an ‘ah ha’ moment where the bride realised she didn’t have to follow wedding traditions. In that moment, it was like a weight was lifted from her shoulders; it was really quite remarkable. Following this realisation, the couple decided to scrap the head table and seat themselves amongst their guests. This was perfect; it suited the couple’s personality and gave them quality time with their guests.
Another wedding I attended recently was a registry office wedding. Now there is quite a bit of stigma around these; and while I have recommended them, I had never actually attended one so it was a great learning experience. There was 5 of us there (the couple, 2 witnesses and the officiant). The lady that officiated the ceremony was lovely; we could take as many pictures as we liked; there was still a bouquet & white dress and the couple couldn’t be happier. We had lovely post ceremony drink and nibbles at a local restaurant and were home about 7. That wedding was just as special as every other wedding I have attended, it was perfect for the couple and everyone really enjoyed themselves.
As you can see thinking a bit outside the box can make a day that matches you perfectly. To give you some ideas on how to make your special day unique here are my top 5 tradition busters:
1) Have the bridal party seated amongst the guests (i.e. no head table)
This is a great way to get to spend more time with your guests and it takes the pressure off you being centre of attention
2) Have a grazing table as your main food for the reception
I have recently seen each table up as a grazing table and it was amazing! It was so unexpected and the tables looked fantastic. It’s a nice interactive way to eat and people can eat as much or as little as they like; its great for food intolerance's too.
3) Ditch the favours
Over 50% of the time they don’t get taken anyway, they are not wanted and they get lost on the dance floor. Save the money and put it towards something else for your special day
4) Have your bridal party photos before the ceremony.
First look photos are so popular right now and its easy to see why. The first being that you are looking fab cos your hair and makeup has just been done, secondly it gives you more time with your guests and you can reduce the drinking time in the cocktail hour. It also gives the option to have a sunset ceremony… love!
5) Can the cake
We have seen a shift where by cakes are now being used as deserts, cos lets face it without that they weren’t getting eaten, but is that a good enough reason to have cake? Wouldn’t you rather pick a desert that you love and have that rather than feeling forced to use the cake? Just putting it out there!
So, when you are planning your wedding, whether it is big or small I challenge you to think outside the box, break the ‘rules’ and make your day special in your own way!